Tring in War Time, 1914-1919


Extracts from the Bucks Herald of 20th February, 1915

Edited from British Newspaper Archive

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The big event of the week was the funeral of George Crichton, of  "D" Company, 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, who had been billeted with Mr and Mrs J. Shephard of Lonbgfield Road, Tring, and who was buried, with full ceremony, in Tring Cemetery.

The religious needs of the troops were also to the fore. The Right Rev. Bishop J. Taylor Smith, Chaplain-General to the Forces gave a service, In addition to the regular church parades some soldiers had joined the parish church choir, and the Y.M.C.A. put on an event in the Gem Picture Palace. More everyday needs were supplied by the Rothschild children who gave 300 lbs. of tobacco and 2,300 packets of cigarettes to the men stationed in the town and surrounding villages.

The letter in last week's paper about the verse "The Lads of Halton Park" produced a response from the author, G. Patterson, who was billeted at New Mill, Tring, complaining that it had been reprinted without permission on post cards in Aylesbury and Leighton Buzzard - and he hopes that any profits are donated to charity. The camp was also in the news because work on the butts was nearing completion.

Other news was that Frederick Plumeridge, who worked on the Grand Junction Canal, had died - and the vicar of Marsworth had left and his replacement had not yet been named.

Surnames this week: Anderson, Atkins, Clarendon, Clissold, Crichton, Essex, Francis, Hampden, Holdaway, Kirk, Lang, Mullins, Palmer, Patterson, Pearce, Plumeridge, Prior, Pickett, Rothschild, Sheppard, Smith, Wright.



Appointment of Lord Lieutenant. — The King has been pleased to appoint Viscount Hampden (Lieutenant-Colonel 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment) to be Lord Lieutenant for the County of Hertford in the room of Earl of Clarendon, deceased. His Majesty has also been pleased to appoint the Earl of Essex to be Deputy- Lieutenant for the county.

Ash Wednesday at the Parish Church. — There were two celebrations of the Holy Eucharist, the first at 7.15, and the second at 8. The Litany was said at ten minutes to 8, and a short service for children was hold at 9. The Commination Service and Matins were at 11 a.m. At 7 p.m. Evensong was sung, and the Rev. Ernest Lang, D.D., vicar of Mentmore, reached the first of a course of sermons which he has promised to deliver on the Wednesday evenings in Lent.

Visit of the Chaplain-General. — The Right Rev. Bishop J. Taylor Smith, Chaplain-General to the Forces, was the preacher at the Parish Church on Sunday morning last. The Rev. C. Clissold, C.F., accompanied the Bishop as Chaplain. He preached a simple, homely sermon on the words "Thy loving-kindness is bettor than life," and illustrated his remarks on kindness a by a touching reference to the treatment of the wounded in the military hospitals by the nursing staff. There was a large congregation.

The Parish Church. - Services and music for 1st Sunday in Lent (Feb. 21). — Holy Eucharist, 8 a.m.; Matins: "Venite," Psalms, chants asset (Cathedral Psalter); “Benedicite," Stainer, Winn, and Walker; "Benedictus,” Goodenough ; Hymns 94. 353, 245. Voluntary. "Postlude in C.” Dr. Volckmar. Evensong, Psalms, as set; “Magnificat," Turle; “Nunc Dimittis," Dr. Monk; Hymns 91. 266, 634. “Rock of ages" (variations and finale), E. H. Smith. The collections during the day will for the Archbishops’ Western Canada Fund. Preacher, the Rev. Canon Beal.—Wednesday, Feb. (St. Matthias, Apostle and Martyr. Holy Eucharist, 7.15 a.m.; Matins, 11; Evensong, 7, with sermon by the Rev. Ernest Lang, D.D., vicar of Mentmore.


 The visit of the Chaplain-General of the Forces to Tring last Sunday is a sign of the concern felt for the religious needs of the soldiers of the new Armies. The Chaplains take the keenest interest in the men's welfare, and miss no opportunity getting into touch with them. These efforts to provide for their spiritual and social wants are, on the whole, fully appreciated and well responded to by the men.

Besides attending the weekly church parades, which are compulsory, many of the men are regular worshippers at the Parish Church and other churches in the town. At High-street United Free Church, where the Rev. C. Pearce who has recently been appointed officiating clergyman for the Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and United Methodist soldiers in Tring, officiates, there is always a good sprinkling of khaki uniforms in the congregation; at the Parish Church four soldiers billeted in the town regularly sing in the choir; and other places of worship have their following amongst the soldiers.

Every Sunday night a lantern service for soldiers only held at the Gem Picture Palace, under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A. The service consists of hymns, sacred solos, and illustrated stories, short addresses being given. A Soldiers' Bible Class conducted the Chaplain every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 3.45 in the Y.M.C.A. Rooms, Akeman-street.

A gift which will greatly appreciated has been made to the men of the 12th Battalion (O.C., Colonel W. B. Mullins) and 13th Battalion (O.C., Colonel W. Prior) Northumberland Fusiliers, stationed in Tring, Aldbury, Long Marston. and Wilstone by the children of the Hon. N. Charles Rothschild - Miriam, Victor, and Liberty Rothschild. The gift consists of 300 lbs. of tobacco and 2,300 packets of cigarettes. This means 1,200 2-oz. tins of tobacco and 1,150 packets of cigarettes (20 in each! for each Battalion. The gifts have not yet been handed out, but we are sure the men will gratefully recognise the kindly thought which prompted the handsome present.


Departure or the Vicar. - After a residence in Marswortb of nearly eight years, during which time be has won the esteem and respect of his parishioners, the Rev. J. J. Atkins has been offered and accepted the living of Cople, near Bedford, by the authorities of Christ Church, Oxford. The Vicar will take up his new duties directly after Easter. The living of Marsworth. which has become vacant, belongs to Trinity College. Cambridge.

 Death of Mr. F. Plumeridge. - We regret to have to record the death of Mr. Frederick Plumeridge, who died, at the comparatively early age of 38, at the Royal Bucks Hospital [Aylesbury] on Friday, February 5th. Mr. Plumeridge had not been feeling well for several days, and, his condition becoming rapidly worse, Dr. Anderson, of Tring, was sent for. and at once ordered his removal to the Hospital. Here he was operated for appendicitis, but he unfortunately failed to rally from this, and passed away. The late Mr. Plumeridge was the eldest son of Mr. Jonathan Plumeridge, of the Old Queens Head, Marsworth. and was employed on the Grand Junction Canal. He was well-known in local sporting circles, and was an all-round cricketer of merit, playing regularly with his own village club, of which was vice-captain. His services were also much sought after by neighbouring clubs. In hunting circles he will be remembered as the man who carried the "drag" for the Berkhamsted Drag Hunt, and provided many a good run, he knowing every inch of the surrounding country. In his earlier days he was also very successful in carrying off many prizes at the various local athletic sports.

A Military Funeral

Six months ago George Crichton was living a quiet, uneventful life at Lochee, a busy suburb of Dundee, following his calling as a plumber in the mines which provide employment for large portion of the population. At the outbreak of the war he responded to his country’s appeal for men. and enlisted in Kitchener's Army.

     "He came obedient to the call,

      He did not shirk."

and to-day sleeps in a soldier's grave in Tring Cemetery, more than 400 miles from his home and his own people.

Private Crichton, who was 30 years of age was in early life an enthusiastic Volunteer, but on the merging of the Volunteers into the Territorials he severed his connection with the force and at the time the war broke out he was looking forward to settling down and making a home for himself.

On joining the Army he was drafted into the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers who are training in the Tring district. Until quite recently the "D" Company, to which he belonged, was billeted at Wilstone, and on Saturday, February 6, moved into billets at Tring. Private Crichton, who had just come out of the Royal Bucks Hospital at Aylesbury, where he was under treatment for tonsilitis, was quartered on Mr. and Mrs. J. Sheppard in Longfield-road. On Monday he went for a route march with his Company, but had to fall out and return to his billet. Mr. and Mrs. Sheppard did all that was possible for him, but his condition becoming worse, the military authorities were communicated with, and on Wednesday evening he was removed to the Tring military hospital, where he died about two hours after his admission. The circumstances of death were communicated to the Coroner for the district, but no inquest was held.

As Private Crichton died on active service it was decided to bury him with military honours. The men of his Company raised a subscription amongst themselves to defray some of the expenses of the interment, and all united to pay honour to their departed comrade. Private Crichton’s parents travelled to Tring with the intention of taking their son back to Lochee for burial, but when they knew of the preparations made by his comrades they decided to allow the funeral to take place in Tring.

In spite of the wet, stormy weather of Saturday afternoon the : funeral procession was a most impressive one. Garrison military police walked first, and the firing party, with arms reversed, and the buglers and drummers preceded the glass hearse on which the coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was carried. On the coffin rested the deceased soldier's cap, bayonet, and belt, and a wreath. The men of the 13th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, with Captain T .Stephen Palmer and the other officers and N.C.O. of "D" Company, followed the hearse. A detachment of the R.A.M.C. from the military hospital and other soldiers billeted in the town joined in the procession, which moved at the slow march to the Parish Church. Here the cortege was met by the Rev. Kenneth Kirk, chaplain of the Engineers, and the Rev. H. Francis, vicar of Tring. The mourners were Mr. and Mrs. Crichton, father and mother of deceased, and Mr. and Mrs. Sheppard. The body was borne into the church by six of the deceased soldier's comrades, Corpl. H. Wright. A.S.C., from the 21st Divisional Central Office, meanwhile playing "O rest in the Lord." The service commenced with the hymn "For ever with the Lord," and the lesson was read by the Rev. H. Francis. The Rev. Kenneth Kirk then said the prayers, and the procession left the church as the last strains of the "Dead March" in Saul were being played. Outside the church the procession re-formed, and proceeded to the New Cemetery, where the concluding part of the service was recited by the Rev. Kenneth Kirk. After the last prayer the firing party discharged a triple volley across the open grave, the buglers sounded "The Last Post," and the solemn ceremony ended.

Mr. and Mrs. Crichton ask to be allowed to say how much they were consoled by the great kindness shown by his officers and comrades to their son, and how sincerely they appreciate the sympathy extended on all sides to themselves.


George Crichton, son of Mr and Mrs David Crichton

of 186 High Street, Lochee


from the

Dundee, Perth, Forfar and Fife's People's Journal

20th February, 1915


...The work and play of Lord Kitchener's men in Aylesbury during the week has been of a varied character. An important "field day” last Friday has been followed by route marching, trench digging, and miscellaneous operations. Several of the butts Halton are now practically finished, and shooting in real earnest may soon begin on an organised scale. ...


DRESSMAKING. - APPRENTICES and IMPROVERS required at once; also APPRENTICE for Fancy Drapery and Millinery. S. C. HOLDAWAY, Tring




Dear Sir, - I notice in this week’s issue of the Bucks Herald, under the heading of  "The Lads from Halton Park,” that the sum of £3:10 has been handed to the Red Cross Fund by Miss Rickett, of Berkhamsted. As the author of those verses I am pleased to hear that they have been of service towards a good cause, and I also hope that the gentleman at Leighton Buzzard, and also the one at Aylesbury, who copied them from the Bucks Herald, and sold thousands in postcard form (without my permission) will send a similar amount to the fund. I should also like it known that I was the sole author of those verses, not "made up” by a patriotic few of Kitchener’s Army. If you could insert this in your valuable paper I should esteem it favour, to let it be known that, as they have been copied and sold in various ways, I am considering what action to take against the publishers when they do not contribute towards the fund I intended the profits to be forwarded to.

Thanking you in anticipation.

         Yours faithfully,


B Company 13th N.F.

New Mill, Tring.

The Boys from Halton Park


There are five and twenty thousand 

Bold recruits who have made a start

To train and fight for their country

In this spacious Halton Park.


When they are trained and ready

To the front they will embark

Then you will hear the people say

There's the lads from Halton Park


And when Berlin is taken

The Kaiser will remark

"Where did those fearnoughts come from?"

Why, of course, from Halton Park


And when we come home victorious

And each man has made his mark

Where will the honours go to?

Why the lads from Halton Park


February 2015


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